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Local Girl Scouts Impact their Communities to Earn Girl Scout Gold Award
HOUSTON (May 19, 2008) – Local Girl Scouts Subhadra A. and Michelle J. developed projects to better their communities, while completing all the requirements to receive the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Less than five percent of girls who join Girl Scouts earn this recognition.
Earning the Gold Award is a significant honor that requires recipients to demonstrate outstanding leadership skills, career planning, community involvement, and personal development. It takes two to three years of intensive work to complete the award requirements, which include planning and completing a project that is a service to the community.
Subhadra, a Hastings High School senior, partnered with the Children’s Museum of Houston and hosted a Hindu-Indian festival. The Diwali Festival of Lights is the largest and most popular Hindus festival, featuring fire works and the seeking of divine blessings from the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, according to the Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India. “I always make an effort to understand other cultures,” said Subhadra. “Educating others about my culture was an honor.”
As part of her festival, Subhadra set up information booths and arranged for traditional South Indian dancers to entertain the crowd. She recruited more than 50 volunteers, who helped make the three-day festival run smoothly. Subhadra was pleased to share the Diwali experience with more than 1,000 people. “Being able to share my culture with so many people was such a wonderful experience,” said Subhadra.
Michelle, a junior at St. Agnes Academy, partnered with Noah’s House, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping mentally challenged adults live independently. More than 26 percent of adults in America suffer from some degree of mental disability, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Noah’s House caters to those who have a borderline IQ, which is the minimum IQ one can have and still function normally and independently. Michelle hosted monthly birthday parties for their more than 40 clients. Two-thirds of these clients hold competitive jobs. “I wanted to help people who are working hard to help themselves,” said Michelle.
Each of the seven celebrations had its own theme with decorations and crafts that coincided with the chosen motif. She also recruited 35 volunteers to help with the celebrations and help make Christmas scarves for each client. “I truly enjoyed spending time with the people at Noah’s House,” said Michelle. “I hope that I created public awareness of this organization.”
Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's preeminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 3.5 million girls and adults. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Chartered by GSUSA to provide Girl Scouting locally, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council is one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the country serving more than 64,000 girl members and 18,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit www.gssjc.org.
GSSJC Pluralism Statement
Embracing and promoting pluralism is an integral part of every activity and plan of Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, not disconnected or separate projects. Only individuals willing to accept and be educated about the basic tenet that Girl Scouting is for all girls may serve in volunteer leadership or staff positions.
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